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Justify Humanities courses.

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    No trying to stir the depths. But people keep on talking about 'transferable skills' and I was wondering apart from the obvious adjusting to lifestyle, time management.

    What are good skills that you gain from a general humanities course? Such as english or history?

    I completely understand that they are vital courses for the progression of man, but I am just wondering about how to bulk up a cv from that perspective.

    Easy on the neg rep guys I have only just gone green again
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    I'm going to give you transferable skills you can gain from a History degree, because that's what I want to do. Most of these probably apply to other similar humanities courses though.

    Communication skills- being able to write well, being articulate, and included (although it really could be a point on its own) the ability to formulate sustained arguments.
    A critical and analytical mind- looking at things in more depth, questioning them etc...
    Independence- because so much is down to reading and independent learning.

    If you want to go into a business that requires these sort of skills, maybe advertising or journalism or whatever, then I'd say a humanities course will equip you with the best skills.

    I think the other important question is, if you do want to go into [publishing], what use would a Chemistry degree be?
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    (Original post by cesca42)
    If you want to go into a business that requires these sort of skills, maybe advertising or journalism or whatever, then I'd say a humanities course will equip you with the best skills.

    I think the other important question is, if you do want to go into [publishing], what use would a Chemistry degree be?

    Thanks, got some negs unfortunately but was to be expected!

    Well I guess but independant study is required for sciences aswell, perhaps not as much reading but you arguably need more practice to get techniques and maths nailed.

    Definitely a science would be difficult to find direct application in some industries you mention publishing, expect for the ways mentioned prior (time management etc).

    I would disagree about business however, we aren't all socially inept and live in labs you know! And being highly numerate is a skill....
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    Humanities graduates think differently. That alone should be enough to land them a job.

    Honestly, what use would a world of scientists actually be? It'd be a boring place. The same applies to companies... successful ones don't just have mathematicians sitting there making formulas on what the best business strategy is, they have History graduates writing up dossiers, business graduates deconstructing their competitors' weaknesses, marketing graduates working on their public appeal, etc.

    I'm not saying that scientists are useless, because that's an idiotic statement. In light of the recession, job cuts and unemployment, it seems students are now thinking, "All humanities graduates are sub par to science graduates because science graduates can do everything the humanities can, just not to their standard which is acceptable. However, science graduates have analytical skills that humanities graduates don't, therefore science graduates are better."

    The world doesn't work that way! This is stereotypical thinking from a stereotypical scientist. "S>H for all observable dependant variables of S and H." Well, quite frankly, there's some advantages of humanities graduates that are qualitative rather than quantitative. The problem is that it seems that humanities graduates are the only ones willing to justify the liberal arts. I'm actually bewildered by this, since I genuinely couldn't write an articulate piece of literature to save my life (proof: this post).

    Overall, people (not necessarily you, OP) need to stop thinking about graduates and job hunting in terms of black and white, quantitative observables and start thinking about graduates in terms of, oh I don't know, human beings? Real people? Who may have qualities that define themselves other than just their degree?

    Anyway, whatever. I should stop procrastinating or I might actually not end up graduating this year.
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    (Original post by FranticMind)
    No trying to stir the depths. But people keep on talking about 'transferable skills' and I was wondering apart from the obvious adjusting to lifestyle, time management.

    What are good skills that you gain from a general humanities course? Such as english or history?

    I completely understand that they are vital courses for the progression of man, but I am just wondering about how to bulk up a cv from that perspective.

    Easy on the neg rep guys I have only just gone green again
    Well after 30 years in the IT/Management Consultancy Sector my view is that the request for justification is inappropriately inverted.

    The question should be, unless the position applied for is an out and out scientific / technical one, and I do not include normal business IT in that definition, "what are the transferable skills provided by a scientific / technical degree that are relevant to a conventional profession such as IT consultancy, management consultancy, general management in retail or public sector, banking, financial services, marketing, etc etc etc."

    What needs to be addressed by such a justification is:

    a) Ability to deal with and evaluate the imprecise and subjective.
    b) Rapid fact assimilation, retention and comprehension.
    c) Comfort with the 80/20 rule.
    d) Empathy with business managers and execs, who consider the technical a bore. (even when it is vital to what they want to achieve)
    e) Drive and energy level. (finish reading the proposal at midnight, note possible weaknesses the client might probe and the refutations, then leave at 04:00 to catch the flight and deliver the presentation in Moscow.)
    f) Comfort with conclusions that can not be verified by working back wards.
    g) Comfortable when unable to achieve, or time does not permit, an understanding all the details.
    h) Comfort in the absence of logic. very few senior managers or execs can afford to bow before the logic god, they bow before the targeted outcome god.
    g) The ability to articulate a persuasive argument rather than rely on a demonstrable logical conclusion.
    h) Understanding nuance in written and verbal communications
    i) Explaining the complex in a simplistic manner. (without equations)
    j) handling compromise in approach v risk to quality of the result

    BTW: my educational background is scientific, both at A level and with the OU (Physics)

    I am now going to study archaeology in October......because it interests me....and because I can. Cheating slightly because my course is a BSc rather than a BA. I used my career to make a case, in my application, as to why I should be given a place on humanities course, the reverse mapping is quite easy to do in a CV, given I was limited to 4000 characters and a CV is not.
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    I know this is from ages ago, but I just watched the programme on BBC2 about the restoration of the Cutty Sark, and that is a perfect example of why we need arts and sciences.

    You need the history fanatics to want to take on such a project and restore the ship and to then look after the historical accuracy side of things.
    But then you need all the engineers and carpenters to actually carry out the restoration work and figure out how to solve all the problems, like lifting the Cutty Sark above its dry dock.
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    I don't think much of this 'two cultures' approach to arts and sciences here. Science is harder than humanities (I have degrees in both) but that is not relevant (though we could do with some more scientifically literate politicians!) - you need to study what interests you. Philosophy for example would be an eye-opener to some scientists, and many sciences would be the same for humanities folk.

    Transferable skills come from both sciences and arts and the important ones are simply the ability to work as a team; the ability to focus independently and digest matters rapidly; and written and oral communication skills (especially written I think these days).

    By the way I know a chemist who was a senior manager in a publishing company and is passionate about children's literature!

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Updated: August 4, 2012
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